By CODY REYNOLDS
As per usual, the tennis players of the University of Mary Washington are on fire this season, resulting in both the men’s team and the women’s team being nationally ranked. The men hold strong at 18th in the nation and fourth in the region, and the women’s team improved their national rank from 23rd in the country to 20th, while also maintaining sixth in region.
Men’s seniors Tyler Carey and Stratton Gilmore are ranked fifth and 12th in single’s play, respectively. In men’s doubles, Carey and fellow senior Evan Charles are ranked second in the region, while Gilmore and sophomore Brandon Griffin are ranked 10th.
The men’s tennis team finished undefeated against Capital Athletic Conference opponents in the regular season, doing so while only surrendering four games in total over the course of all seven matches.Their latest triumph came on April 7 when the Eagles traveled to Newport News to take on Christopher Newport University, coming away with an easy 8-1 victory.
In the match, the Eagles were led by Carey and Griffin, who went on to be named CAC Male Tennis Player of the Week. Carey won his No. 1 seed singles match 6-1, 6-3 and his No. 1 seed doubles match alongside Charles by a score of 8-6. Griffin was victorious in his No. 5 seed singles match 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) and his doubles match with Gilmore 8-6.
Their regular season record of 18-4 is good enough for top in the CAC, with only two of their losses coming from Division I opponents George Mason and Carnegie Mellon. The Eagles have one more regular season match against Johns Hopkins University before the CAC tournament. This tough opponent will surely prepare them for CAC semifinals this upcoming week, to be played on April 21 and 25 at a location that has not yet been announced.
On the women’s side, things have been very similar for the women, as they are also well represented in individual rankings. In regional singles, junior Shelby Harris, who was recently named as the CAC Women’s Tennis Player of the Week, is 11th, senior Alex Ritter is 16th and freshman Caroline Mosberg is 24th. In regional doubles, Harris and freshman Kait Brogan are ranked eighth.
In 10 seasons as the head coach for women’s tennis, Patrick Catullo led the Eagles to great success, as he and his women are planning to “compete for our 12th straight Capital Athletic Conference Championship and advance to the NCAA National Championships.”
The women, like the men, are undefeated in conference play, posting a record of 6-0 with one more on the schedule against Saint Mary’s to factor in. The team played against Saint Mary’s on Wednesday and finished too late for this edition.
In their most recent match against CNU, Harris, who won her No. 1 singles match 6-4, 6-4, led the Eagles. The Eagles won five of six singles matches against the Captains in the afternoon.
Their overall record of 13-6 is also an impressive one, as a few of their losses have come from strong Division I competition, such as Longwood University and Carnegie Mellon University as well as Division III powerhouse Washington & Lee University.
“We were faced with a very difficult schedule; our team has been doing a great job,” said Catullo. “Eleven of our 21 matches are against nationally ranked Division III schools.”
With only one more match at Johns Hopkins on Sunday, April 19 before the CAC semifinals, the women will look to stay focused as they pursue a deep postseason run through the CAC tournament and beyond.